How do we ripen pears picked off our tree?

Asked October 8, 2018, 7:55 PM EDT

My wife planted a pear tree 15 years ago. This year it suddenly has produced literally hundreds of pears—enough that we need to give lots away. Specifically, your site and others recommend picking them by pushing them up to horizontal; if they're ready, they'll fall off. That I get. And they're ready. But then we're advised to chill them to 30°F for days to weeks; but how? We have only a common refrigerator, whose freezer freezes well below 30° and main box chills to maybe 40°. Are these close enough? If not, do we have to buy a dedicated chiller? Looking forward to your timely advice so we can pick and ripen dozens soonest to give to friends and local food banks. They'll be spectacular treats! Keep up the good work!

Contra Costa County California

1 Response

Thank you for your question. I am not sure which Extension article you read, nor the variety of pear you are growing. So the following article may answer your questions, with a bit more information you can add: If, depending on the variety and your available space, you cannot accomodate the fruit to ripen completely, you might consider offering them to a local food bank. I hope this is helpful. Good luck!